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Books

The drama of St Crispian’s Day: Shakespeare got it right

The battle of Agincourt — a high point of Cursed Kings, the penultimate volume of Jonathan Sumption’s history of the Hundred Years War — was a great English victory snatched from the jaws of defeat

29 August 2015

9:00 AM

29 August 2015

9:00 AM

Cursed Kings: The Hundred Years War, IV Jonathan Sumption

Faber, pp.909, £40, ISBN: 9780571274543

Charles VI of France died on 21 October 1422. He had been intermittently mad for most of his long reign, ‘a pathetic figure’ flitting, often witless, around his palaces. He left a ruined and divided kingdom. There was no French prince to follow his funeral. ‘Tradition was maintained by a solitary figure in a black cape and hat’ on foot behind the coffin.

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